As much as we can talk about what inspires us as photographers and what we see as trending in the Licensing world, it’s important to be aware of what’s actually selling. Sales insights are crucial to help photographers understand trends in advertising, marketing, and publishing, as well as common themes in each industry. By taking the time to analyze images that have been successfully licensed, photographers gain a clearer picture of what makes a sellable image.

We’ve highlighted some of the most recent sales from our distribution partners, Getty Images and VCG, and a few of the reasons why we think these images resonate with clients.


Somewhere between the streets of Berlin! by Simon Alexander on

This image is framed and composed well, very nondescript (no logos, trademarks, or recognizable people, etc.) and has the perfect amount of copy space for an advertisement or message. The photo’s simplicity is what makes it sellable.


The Sky Was Pink by Vanik Zoltan on

This photographer has captured an interesting time of day and a unique view of the Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. If you search the internet for this landmark, you’ll find a number of different angles, but few capture it from this vantage point, giving the photographer a competitive advantage. The image also doesn’t feel unreal or heavily-manipulated, lending an authentic feel to the shot, which destination websites and large online travel aggregators often look for.


Golden eagle landing in snow, Telemark Norway by Bjørn H Stuedal on

With animal and wildlife images, their sellable qualities often relate to emotion. As humans, we tend to project human emotions onto animals. Often emotion translates into relatable moments for an audience to focus on. But in the case of this image, there is something more striking than emotion—there’s raw action and anticipation, along with a stark crispness with the brown feathers of the eagle contrasted with the new snow and whiteness of winter. The photographer has found great natural light and a perfect angle to capture the action of this golden eagle landing.


Amazing Matterhorn by Thomas Fliegner on

This image uses warm and cool tones, as well as light and shadow, to create contrast and create a dramatic and dynamic feeling. It can act as powerful or inspirational imagery, which has a lot of commercial appeal and utility.


The Gatsby by Ravena July on

The framing of this shot, along with the direction the model is facing and the light on the left side, perfectly draw the eye to the empty area in the left third of the image, which would be perfect copy space. This photo’s classic style and beautiful lighting has mass appeal.

Eyes by Jovana Rikalo on

This image used soft light and colors to create an airy, clean feel, which works well for advertising. It is also generic enough that it could be used for a lot of different purposes. Photos that have a lot of versatility sell more.


Homeward bound by David Gray on

Taken at 40,000ft. over western Australia, this photo has beautiful complementary colors and provides a good amount of copy space where the background is not too busy. Aerial photos are visually interesting because they offer a vantage point that we are not used to. The fact that the image is taken from an airplane, along with the beautiful scenery below, communicates a sense of travel and escapism—both of which have a lot of commercial appeal.